Damn. Damn. Damn.
Now that I’ve gotten all my damnation out of the way (for now anyway)… I can focus on this fear. In my quest to find that thing, or those things, about which I’m passionate, I took another little quiz and my result was this:
Fear of FailureYou are terrified of stepping outside your comfort zone. And you’re not alone—I find that this is the most common fear. My clients who struggle with it are often perfectionists who tend to take failure personally. When they don’t succeed, they say, “I’m a failure,” rather than “I failed.” So it’s understandable that new ventures can seem frightening. The most important thing you can do for yourself is work on building self-efficacy—the belief that you can actually accomplish what you want to do. Start by setting and achieving small goals. For example, if you want to be a massage therapist, sign up for an adult education course in shiatsu. If you want to be a florist, reach out to one; invite her for coffee and ask her how she got started. As you succeed at these smaller challenges, bigger goals will seem less daunting, and eventually you will develop the confidence to take the leap you’ve been dreaming about.
Not pretty. Not uncommon either, but not pretty. So, have my past experiences of succeeding at those things I’ve tried been only because I found the thought of doing them comfortable? Did I only do them because I knew, even on a subconscious level that I would meet success?
Honestly, I thought I’d crap my pants when I went zip-lining and the last time I went white water rafting I had a panic attack, mottled-complexion, snotty-nosed “cry face” and all. I was bawling and as I gasped for breath between sobs I kept saying to myself, “Why are you crying? You think this is fun?! This is supposed to be fun!” as a worried Mr. Muse silently helped carry the fun-yaks to the water. At least I didn’t puke. Or drown. Or crap my pants.
My fear of failure has even affected my enjoying riding horses. Folks, I possess certification in Equine Management (still chaps my hide that they dropped the “degree” for that program the year before I started… should have been an Associate Degree), but I haven’t ridden horse since October of 2009 when my mare, Sichel, whom I had brought home only a couple weeks before, took off as I was getting on her and I landed on the road. While I was wearing a helmet (thank goodness), my brains were scrambled pretty good and I spent two weeks on heavy-duty pain killers and muscle relaxers. Now, if I seriously consider riding a horse, even if it’s mellow Mozan (also purchased at the same time), I start to panic, envisioning myself sprawled on the roadway and another trip via ambulance to the emergency room.
My fear of failure doesn’t apply just to activities; while I have embraced being the black sheep of many a situation, there is still a part of me that fears I will be shunned by new people because they don’t get to know Me. This fear is a double-edged sword, however, because I don’t want anyone to know me that well. Well, I kind of do, but it really freaks me out. Yeah, I get how weird that is; I’ve set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. I admit that it takes patience, time, dogged determination, asking the right questions and a definite lack of creepiness for people to reach the inner sanctum, the circle of trust.
Perhaps that’s why I think I feel dispassionate about my writing despite my enjoyment of doing it? Maybe I truly am passionate for writing. Maybe I fear that I’m a failure at it because I don’t see comments on my blog like I see on the blogs of other writers. The lack of comments is seen as a lack of validation and therefore equates to my being a poor writer. Which makes me realize people think this might be a way of fishing for comments on my part. Truth is
that it is that I’m rambling… and that’s just what came out of my head. (Seriously, just kidding on that striked-out bit… I really am not fishing for comments.)
Hmm; to repeat a quote oft-attributed to Sigmund Freud, “Zis is very interesting.” By the way, Freud also developed “talk therapy” (#4 on the link). So, my readers, thanks for listening and letting me talk this out – the check is in the mail (once I’ve figured out how to split it up).
At least I’m showing some passion with my efforts at figuring this out.